The Collection A to Z: NOPe Games
What, that seems wrong, how are there no games? No, it’s just that there aren’t that many games out there. So instead I’m looking at games with the Letters N, O, and P.
N, O, and P’s
I am always looking for big group games that aren’t just light party games. And Not Alone definitely hits that where it has a one versus all. And I really like the one versus all aspect to it. I have a lot of fun playing both on the monster side and the crew member side. I think that I prefer to play as the monster as I keeping track of what everyone is playing down is a lot of fun and offers an interesting challenge. I also like that as the crew, though, you can talk amongst yourself, but the monster player always has to be able to hear it. So you can plan, and planning isn’t bad, but it lets the monsters know some of what is going on.
Onirim is my go to solo game for one simple reason. It’s really small and doesn’t take up much table space. It was also the first game that I played solo, if I remember correctly. I’m not counting when I was a kid and I’d take stuffed animals through a game (can you tell I like board games). This game’s puzzle is really interesting, and I like the odd artwork that it has. If someone is looking for a solo game to try, this would be what I recommend first.
This is just base Pandemic, not the Legacy versions, which will be coming up next. Pandemic is a great game. It’s a gateway game that tells a story each time you play it, and while there is certainly a fair amount of mechanics too it, it is still an experience. I like in a cooperative game how you don’t have enough time to do everything. That’s really important because it keeps the tension for the game high and the replayability high because there is always more to do.
Pandemic Legacy (Seasons 1, 2, and 0)
I love Pandemic Legacy in each version that I’ve played. In fact I’ve played Season 1 twice and had a blast with it the second time that I played it as much as the first, and that was playing it solo. Pandemic Legacy games, while you can’t play them again once they are done, are just such amazing gaming experiences. They add in story to the game of Pandemic, and definitely have an evolving ruleset that you need to remember. If I could go back and play it again for the first time, I would because the twists and turns, while not that shocking always, are really good. And I’m excited to go and play Pandemic Legacy Season 0 sometime soon.
Pandemic Legacy Season 1 and 2: Played
Pandemic Legacy Season 0: To Be Played
The second butterfly game on the list, this one also has you building a garden and amazing looking 3D flowers. This is an area control/area influence game, a drafting game, and just has a great table presence. I had a lot of fun punching out everything and putting it together. I picked this one up because when I can get it played, it’ll sell itself with the 3D flowers and with the butterflies that are on clothespins.
Status: To Be Played
A small game, this one is a great filler that has some strategy to it. In it, with it’s pasted on Alice in Wonderland theme, you are trying to get the fewest points possible. But you are taking cards that are lower number or the same color as the one that you play down, but only so far along the path. It’s an interesting puzzle that has a mechanic that I really like. If you end with the most of a color, those cards are worth 1 point each, instead of face value. So you can shoot the moon a bit in a color, as long as you don’t get too many and end up with a low score. So it adds in good strategy to what is a small game.
I love roll and write games (or flip and write) and this one is an interesting game about making a quilt. What is really interesting is that you score points based off of the largest solid square you’ve made in your quilt. So compared to some polyomino style flip and writes, this one has you really wanting to keep things tightly packed together. And you are moving around placing the different shapes to build your quilt in less of a flip and write way and more of a rondel, which is unique as well.
Status: To Be Played
A mass market game hits the list again. Phase 10 is a game that kind of has that got me into the hobby and one that I grew up playing. I know this game has issues, mainly that someone could get stuck on Phase 1 for 10 rounds, and lose the game just like that. Now, that’s almost impossible, but it could happen, and that’s no fun. The game that I don’t own, Five Crowns, does something similar to Phase 10 but fixes that problem. I still have it in my collection though because it’s a classic and it’s easy to pull out and teach.
This is an abstract tree growing game that I need to play more of. I love the way it looks on the table, you have 3D trees, and I like the that the sun rotates around the board. What drew me to the game, besides the look, is that rotating sun and the fact your trees cast shadows. So you get less points to use if your tree is being blocked from the sun by another tree that’s taller or the same height possibly. This means sometimes you end up with great turns, but if things go poorly, or I place a tree just right, you might get no points to spend on actions. It’s a mean game if you want it to be, but that’s a lot of the fun.
A point salad game is any game where you have a million different ways to score points. If you put a piece down in spot X, you get 10 points. This takes the concept and makes it into a little filler card game. On your turn you draft either a scoring card or two vegetable cards. The point card might say that you get five points per pair of tomatoes that you have. So you’ll draft a lot of tomatoes. But if another tomato scoring card comes up, I can take that, or I can draft a vegetable from that row, causing it to flip over. The game is clever, it scales well, and you do score a ton of points, especially possible at higher player counts.
So three letter there, but not a ton for each of them. You might be surprised that I didn’t add Q in as well. But that’ll wait for another day. What’s your favorite game starting with the letters N, O, or P? What game do I need in my collection starting with those letters?